May 14, 2006

Gun Control and the 2nd Amendment

Professor Saul Cornell of Ohio State University has written an op-ed piece called Reconstructing the Second Amendment that purports to show that we should have stricter gun control laws to ensure that the citizenry has "less cause to fear gun violence".

He furthur posits that, historically,

"One of the many embarrassing
truths about the debate over the right to bear arms that neither side wishes to admit is that gun rights ideology is the illegitimate and spurned child of gun control."

Oh REALLY Professor?

He goes on to say:

If the Founders had imbibed the strong gun rights ideology that drives today's gun debate we would all be drinking tea and singing, "God save our gracious Queen."

In other words, he is saying that the Founding Fathers weren't all that keen on the individual's right to bear arms...and this guy purports to be a HISTORY expert?!?!

The Founders made it plain that the whole concept of a free state is that which requires security, but also a state (is) inherently free, from its own government if necessary. (emph. mine)

Let's see what those Founding Fathers had to say on the subject, and who can best explain the original intent of the Second Amendment, because they wrote it,:

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison all understood the importance of private gun ownership in a free society.


"And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." (in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy p. 20, S. Padover ed., 1939)


"Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense."


"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left but in the exertion of the original right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of positive government."

Madison (in Federalist No. 46, predicting that encroachments by the federal government) said that these would provoke "plans of resistance" and an "appeal to the trial of force." Madison also said (still in Fed. No. 46):

"The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

And Hamilton again:

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

Those were the Authors of the Amendment...what did some of the leading Citizens think?

Thomas Paine:

"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside...Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them..."

Thoughts on Defensive War in 1775

While Tench Coxe said:

"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

(Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)

While we’re about it, let’s also quote again another of the great men, Patrick Henry, commenting on the Second Amendment in 1788:

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."

And another from Mr. Henry:

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"

(3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836)

What about some people that you might not think of as being on the gun owners side of the debate?

From the foremost practitioner of passive resistance and non-violence:

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."

-- Mahatma Gandhi (Autobiography, by M.K. Gandhi, p.446)

And from the world’s gentlest human being:

"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."

The Dalai Lama (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times), speaking at the "Educating Heart Summit" in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate

And lastly, opinions from a couple of bad guys:

"Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You’ll pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins."

-- Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Mafia hit man

“A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.”

-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty."

-- Adolf Hitler (H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler’s Table Talks 1941-1944)

So Mr. Cornell, I submit that, IF you want credibility, you'd best serve yourself by actually going back into your history books and finding out what was REALLY thought, and STATED, instead of serving the PC GFW* lobby with misstatements, half-truths, and outright lies.

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Posted by Delftsman3 at May 14, 2006 10:21 PM | TrackBack
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